Heating Things up in Florida – 2 Lava 2 Lantula (2016)

Much like Lavalantula before it, 2 Lava 2 Lantula features more of the same as giant, volcanic spiders attack the state of Florida as sinkholes open up, spitting them forth everywhere. Returning to take care of the menace is hero Colton West as played by Steve Guttenberg whose daughter is stuck in the middle of it and along for the ride is Michael Winslow who also returns for this sequel. Like the first film in the series, there are plenty of spiders to be had, a few laughs and a lot of action and just like that first film, it turns out to be a lot of fun.

In the first movie, Guttenberg played the reluctant hero – a man forced into a situation he was unprepared for and surprisingly, he came out on top. In this picture, the man is not necessarily thrust into that role, though he does want to rescue his daughter and not particularly run into any Lavalantulas, but as his career seems to have stalled out once again in what seems like less than a year, he relishes the opportunity to be the hero once again. It is during this latest foray that because he tries so much to be ‘the man’ that he comes off a little arrogant and a bit more than annoying. Where he first had some charm about him, as most reluctant heroes do, this time the man thinks he knows it all and can do it all and that charm is definitely missing. Thankfully he is slightly balanced out by Winslow and Michele Weaver who stars as his daughter as without them, he might have wandered into the state of being unbearable.

The special effects were what one would expect and totally in line with the previous feature, so while not all that good, they were also not all that bad. More than anything, it was the script and the performances that really carried this film and for the most part, it turned out to be really enjoyable. For those that were really paying attention, there were plenty of movie references in the film, everything from mere mentions like Frankenfish from 2004 to full-on scenes where Guttenberg delivers the payload to the gargatulantula like Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb from 1964. It definitely added to the overall film and made for an extra layer of entertainment by trying to spot all the plugs and mentions of other movies from the past.

With Skarknado, Syfy discovered a way to create a successful franchise from a very silly concept and it worked wonderfully. Here they try the exact same thing and while 2 Lava 2 Lantula is not as good as its predecessor, it has enough momentum behind it to still be amusing. Though many may not ask for it, a third entry in this series would not be unwelcome.

3 out of 5

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